Bristol’s supported internship scheme serves up a festive feast for First West of England’s bus drivers

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Amy Pool has been keeping Bristol’s drivers festively fuelled

Amy Pool and the First West of England canteen staff gave Bristol’s bus drivers the festive fuel they needed to get on the road on Thursday, December 14.

As a part of the Bristol City Council and City of Bristol college supported internship, Amy has played a vital role in serving up the annual Christmas dinner.

Amy was offered the work placement in the Bristol Bus & Coach Station canteen on Marlborough Street through the scheme for young people with learning difficulties/disabilities. Throughout her eight-week programme with the bus operator, Amy has been learning the key skills for the catering trade from catering supervisor Julie Horseman, in what is her first taste of a real life working environment.

Amy is also making great strides working towards a City of Guilds qualification in catering alongside the three half-days week spent with First West of England. Amy’s performance is being assessed by her job coach, Sharon Webber, before taking her next step into a bigger kitchen and catering team.

Amy has been a full-time carer for her mum since a young age and was unable to complete various elements of her education when growing up. Now 23, she’s going above and beyond to gain the necessary skills to launch a career.

Amy commented: “It’s been a great experience working with First West of England in their canteen. There’s a real team spirit among the staff here and it’s been incredibly valuable to be a part of the team as I continue to learn tricks of the trade. Everyone at the Bristol Bus Station, from management, canteen staff, to the drivers we serve every day, have made me feel incredibly welcome during my time here.”

“We had a really busy day serving up Christmas dinner for Bristol’s bus drivers and cleaning the tables, but the effort has been greatly appreciated by all. This has definitely been a highlight of my time here.”

Gavin Hawkins, First West of England’s Staff Manager, was instrumental in bringing Amy to Bristol Bus & Coach Station: “It’s been brilliant having the opportunity to welcome Amy into our team in Marlborough Street. From here first day with us, we have really seen her blossom and she has been very quick to pick up all the tasks she has been set. She’s thrived working with the team and has built up a great rapport with the drivers.  It has been very rewarding seeing her confidence grow and how far she has come along thanks the internship. From us all at West of England we wish Amy every success for the future.”

“The Bristol Supported Internship schemes perform an admirable role in the city. They’ve given Amy an opportunity in the workplace where previously she might have been overlooked and we’re delight that we can support them.”